The Denver Broncos may have won their home opener 16-9 against the Houston Texans, but it is clear they have a ton of problems. There are the red zone woes where they are 0/6 on touchdowns and have committed an eye opening 25 penalties in two games, but the real issue is coaching. From game management to play calling, rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett needs to get his house in order quickly or it will only get worse.
The first quarter was a bit of a back and forth snoozefest. Denver began the game out of sync with Russell Wilson completing just 2 of 9 passes for 32 yards. They also had another goal line collapse inside the 2 having to settle for a field goal there. The offense also lost Jerry Jeudy in this game to a shoulder injury.
Both teams seemed off offensively, but the Texans put together a nice drive late to tie things up.
Broncos 3, Texans 3. Full first quarter recap.
Denver’s woes continues in the second quarter as Wilson could not get anything going offensively. Meanwhile, the Broncos injuries began to become a huge concern with cornerback Pat Surtain II leaving the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury of his own.
Broncos currently playing without:— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) September 18, 2022
Six starters, and then Pat Surtain II was on the sideline talking with trainers for much of the last series.
Things would look pretty dire when the Broncos faced a 2nd and 22 late in the second quarter down 6-3. However, Javonte Williams would take a draw up the middle for a 17 yard gain. Then Wilson would connect with Courtland Sutton for a 34-yard gain to setup another scoring opportunity for Denver. The red zone woes would continue, however, and the team would settle for yet another field goal from the one yard line.
Broncos 6, Texans 6. Full second quarter recap.
The second half began with a Russell Wilson interception that the Texans were able to turn into three points to retake the lead. And while the Broncos’ defense continued to keep the Broncos in the game, poor coaching and poor playcalling on offense continued to hold them back.
Broncos' fans are fired up. This is not good football or coaching, at all.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 18, 2022
Even worse, the Broncos kept committing penalty after penalty. The fans in the stadium booed heavily throughout the third quarter and deservedly.
Texans 9, Broncos 6. Full third quarter recap.
Starting out the fourth quarter with a third and 18, Wilson found Courtland Sutton deep for a 35-yard gain to get the Broncos into field goal range. An end around to Sutton gained five yards on the next play, then Javonte Williams powered his way into the fringe of the red zone for another first down.
Wilson then found Eric Saubert open in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown to break the game wide open for Denver.
Broncos 13, Texans 9.
Suddenly, after three quarters of dominating defense, the defense gives up a 27-yard completion on the Texans very first play on their next drive. Already in Broncos’ territory, the Broncos defense then committed another penalty. They are already back up to 12 accepted penalties for 95 yards in this game. That is 24 accepted penalties for 201 yards in two games.
After a nice pass breakup and an incomplete pass, Dre’Mont Jones came up big on third down with his second sack of the game to knock the Texans out of field goal range.
The poor game management continued in embarrassing fashion in the fourth quarter as the Broncos used their last timeout to avoid yet another delay of game penalty, however, the Broncos offense was able to find their legs. But once they reached the Texans 26-yard line, they threw the ball three straight times with a lead and less than five minutes to go. Fortunately, Wilson took a sack on third down to keep the clock running. McManus would extend the lead.
Broncos 16, Texans 9.
After the Texans quickly gained 40-ayrds on two plays on their next drive, Randy Gregory nearly came up huge with a strip-sack of his own. However, the Broncos terrible fumble luck continued with the Texans recovery. Ultimately, the Texans would face a fourth and 16 and would be stopped for a game-winning stop.
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